I woke up with sun rays falling on my face. I wasn’t done with my sleep, I wanted to sleep. But the room was getting bright and it was getting difficult for me to sleep. I reluctantly opened my eyes and looked at the alarm clock on bed side table. It was 11. I jumped out of bed. My dad must have waited for me. He usually left at 9:00 to his office and I had a feeling that he was mad at me. We had a rule to have our breakfast together. That was the only part of the day we had time to talk. And today I had goofed up. I over slept. My dad hated to eat alone. Where the hell was my dog? Why dint he wake me up? Everyday he wakes me up by jumping on me and licking me and barking until I get up and take him out for a walk. Where was he today? I then remembered that I had kicked him out last night yelling at him. I opened my door and there he was standing near the door, staring at me with his big brown eyes. “I am sorry spike”, I said kneeling down. Even before I knew what hit me he was on me licking me all over.
At this minute the phone rang and I picked it up. “You are up?” I heard my dad’s voice. “Yes dad. I am sorry. I was very sleepy. I slept late last night. Was working on something that’s due this Monday”.
“I know that. I had seen the light on in your room. And you kicked spike out too. That’s the reason I dint wake you up. I made breakfast. It’s on the table. Eat it. If you feel like cooking lunch do it, otherwise order something from outside. I will come and fix up the dinner”.
“Nah dad! I am done with the project. And it’s the weekend, my turn to cook. I will make lunch and dinner. When will you be home”?
“The usual time. You need something”?
“No dad. I was just planning to go out with Pooja in the evening. Is that alright”?
“Ok. I have to go now. Bye”.
Even before I could say bye he had hung up. “So typical of men”, I thought.
I freshened up, changed, had my breakfast and decided to take spike out for a walk. Before leaving I checked the fridge and saw that vegetable section was empty, so I stuffed my pockets with money to buy some vegetables. I decided to make my dads favorites to make up for missing the breakfast and I would also dine with him tonight. From the time that I had got a job we never dined together. That’s the reason my dad had made it a must to eat breakfast together atleast. He believed in the concept ‘A family that eats together, stays together’. Dad usually used to come home by 6:00 and take spike out for walk, cook dinner for me and him, wait for me till 9 and finally have his dinner. I normally reach home just before he hit the bed.
My thoughts about the dinner were interrupted by Lalitha aunty.
“Hello Nupur. How are you”? Aunty asked trying to stay away from spike as much as possible.
I smiled at her and said “I am fine aunty. How are you’?
“I am fine. It has grown. What is its breed and name’? Aunty asked pointing towards spike.
“He”, I said correcting her. I hated when people used ‘it’ for animals. And my expression must have shown on my face as her expression changed. “He is a Labrador and his name is Spike.”
“Oh! I am sorry. I had seen him only when he was a puppy. Anyways how are your dad and brother”? She enquired.
“They are completely fine”, I said checking the tomato’s that I was picking up.
“Ajay is still in USA? When is he coming to India”? She asked. And I now completely understood where this conversation was heading to. Aunty had been trying to get my brother married to his daughter as soon as he turned 23. She had come up with a proposal when he was 24 and settled in US. He had said no to her saying that he won’t marry until I was married. I very well knew that he dint like the match and he was using my name. So did my dad and we had avoided that proposal from her. But since 1 year again she got back to her old self. Her elder daughter was married and now she was trying to get her second daughter married to my bro.
“Yeah! He is still in US and he is coming to visit us in a month for a month. Then he will go back toCalifornia”. I was trying to get out of there as fast as I could. I wanted to avoid her further questions about her daughter shanti and my brother and their match.
“So any plan about your marriage as your brother is getting old and he said he won’t marry until you do. Is your father looking for guys? I know few very good boys if your dad wants. Why don’t I come to your home and talk to your dad. When will he be home’?
“Dad would be home by 6:00 generally”, I said picking up the bags. “I have to go now and cook. It was nice meeting you aunty”, I said as I started to walk away. She said something behind me and I dint bother to listen to her. I was fed up with people trying to get me married. They started trying since I turned 20 and now I was 23 and they still dint get the point that I will do what I wanted to do. Coming to Ajay he is 26 and if he wants to get married, I would be more than happy. Something that I cease to understand why people are more interested in others life than their own?
I went home cooked, ate my lunch while watching TV. I decided to spend the rest of the time surfing net. It was still 2 more hours before I had meet Pooja .